Weekly #13: Wolverine Men Set to Race at Big Tens at Purdue

Weekly #13: Wolverine Men Set to Race at Big Tens at Purdue

Provided by U of M

The University of Michigan men's track and field team will begin its outdoor championship season as it travels to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, which are set for Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, at Purdue's Rankin Track and Field. Competition will start on Friday at 11 a.m. and resume on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Championships on BTN -- The Big Ten Outdoor Championships will be aired on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 25, at 6 p.m.


Mark Beams, Brad Bolton, Stephen Burk, Patrick Cochran, Ethan Dennis, Mason Ferlic, Justin Gaumer, Erick Gavin, Bradley James, George Kelly, Louis Lamberti, Chris Maye, Codie Nolan, August Pappas, Morsi Rayyan, Cody Riffle, Derek Sievers, Troy Sneller, Stephen Sykes, Herman Washington, James Yau.


• Michigan has won 31 Big Ten team titles in program history with the last coming in 2008. The Maize and Blue won the conference crown with 129 points that year. Since Michigan began competing in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 1901, the Wolverines have won 314 individual-event and relay titles.

• With the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference in 2011, the championship meet includes 11 teams as Northwestern does not have a track and field program.

• Nebraska captured the 2013 Big Ten team title by a 38.5-point margin with 131.5 points. The Wolverines finished 10th a year ago, tallying 36 total points.

• The Big Ten Outdoor Championships mark the last remaining opportunity for Michigan student-athletes to record regional-qualifying times/marks before the fields for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds are announced next week.

• Six Wolverines, who scored a combined 22 points for Michigan at last year's conference meet, will return to action this weekend at Purdue.

Name Event Place Points

Ethan Dennis Hammer Throw 3rd 6

Mason Ferlic 3,000m Steeplechase 4th 5

Cody Riffle Shot Put 4th 5

Codie Nolan 4x100m Relay 5th 4

Mark Beams 10,000m 8th 1

Troy Sneller 400m Hurdles 8th 1

Outdoor Advantages

• Several new events are contested during the outdoor championships that were not during the indoor season, providing additional scoring opportunities for U-M. The 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles are replaced by the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles; the mile run is replaced by the 1,500-meter run; and the weight throw is replaced with the hammer throw. The 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 10,000-meter run, javelin and discus, as well as the 4x100-meter relay, are also added to the list of events.

Michigan will benefit from several of the different outdoor events added to the outdoor line up:

3,000-meter Steeplechase

Junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) is a returning Second Team All-American in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as he finished 13th at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Competing in the steeplechase for the first time just one meet prior to the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Ferlic excelled quickly and contributed immediately, finishing fourth at the conference meet. He opened up the 2014 outdoor season in the steeplechase at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet, clocking a time of 8:47.91, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation. Ferlic was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in his career on April 9 for his season-opening performance. In addition to the steeple, Ferlic also owns the fifth-best 5,000-meter run time in the Big Ten this season at 13:55.12.

10,000-meter Run

Senior/junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) finished eighth in the 10,000-meter run at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and also qualified for the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Beams opened the season at the Cal-Virginia tri-meet in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:20.83 and made his season debut in the 10,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays, running 29:59.65. Junior/sophomore August Pappas (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) owns U-M's best 10,000-meter time of the season of 29:40.25, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten and 40th in the NCAA East Region.

Hammer Throw

Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) and junior/sophomore Brad Bolton (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) are competing for U-M in the hammer throw during the outdoor season. Dennis is the school-record holder in the hammer throw (66.36m, 217-8) and a returning All-America honorable mention. His record-holding mark also ranks fourth in the Big Ten and seventh in the NCAA East Region. Bolton redshirted during the 2013 outdoor season, following an impressive freshman campaign that saw him finish ninth at the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships and qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. Bolton currently ranks third on U-M's all-time performance list and 11th in the Big Ten with his throw of 61.26 meters (201-0) that he recorded at the Billy Hayes Invitational (April 3).


Sophomore/freshman Stephen Burk (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany), who only competes for the Wolverines during the outdoor season in the javelin, returned to action for the first time since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships at the North Florida Invitational (March 28-29). He won the javelin at UNF with a mark of 68.10 meters (223-5), which moved him into second on U-M's all-time performance list. He currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 23rd in the NCAA East Region. He also won the javelin at the tri-meet versus Cal and Virginia with a toss of 64.40 meters (211-3).

Other Key Wolverines

• Senior/junior Patrick Cochran (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who redshirted the 2014 indoor season, returned to compete for the Wolverines during the outdoor season opener at UNF. In his first competition since the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Cochran finished runner-up in the long jump at the North Florida Invitational (March 28) with a mark of 7.54 meters (24-9), which ranks third in the Big Ten, 22nd in the NCAA East Region and 10th on U-M's all-time performance list. His mark was more than a two-foot personal record.

• Junior/sophomore Derek Sievers (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) made big strides for the Wolverines during the 2014 indoor season, where he finished eighth in the shot put at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. So far this season, Sievers owns U-M's best shot put (18.09m, 59-4.25) and discus (52.30m, 171-7) marks, which rank sixth and 10th, respectively, on Michigan's all-time top-10 performance list. His personal-best shot put was the winning mark at the Billy Hayes Invitational (May 3).

• Fifth-year senior Bradley James (East Lansing, Mich./Haslett) owns Michigan's top high jump mark this season at 2.11 meters (6-11), which ranks sixth in the Big Ten and tied for 26th in the NCAA East Region.

• Senior/junior Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) redshirted the 2013 outdoor season after a solid season in 2012. That year, he qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the 10,000-meter run, where he finished 14th, just missing the cutoff for the NCAA Outdoor Championships -- that marks the last outdoor 10K Rayyan has run in uniform for the Wolverines. His season-best 5,000-meter time of 14:00.77 ranks 10th in the Big Ten and 28th in the NCAA East Region.

• Senior Herman Washington (Blacklick, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) currently ranks just outside the top eight in the Big Ten in 11th with a 110-meter hurdle time of 14.19, which also ranks 50th in the NCAA East Region. His personal-best time of 13.82 came last year at the Joe Hilton Invitational. Last season, he advanced to the finals at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships and the semifinals of the NCAA East Preliminaries.

• Senior/junior shot putter Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) has missed the majority of outdoor season due to a hand injury and made his outdoor debut at the Toledo Invitational (May 9), where he finished second with a mark of 17.65 meters (57-10.75). He is the school-record holder in the shot put (18.80m, 61-8.25) and a returning outdoor Second Team All-American (ninth).

Michigan Among the Big Ten

• Heading into the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Michigan has six student-athletes ranked in the top eight in the Big Ten in at least one event (the top eight score at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships).

Name Event Time/Mark Rank

Mason Ferlic 5,000m 13:55.12 5

August Pappas 10,000m 29:40.25 6

Mason Ferlic 3,000m Steeplechase 8:47.91 2

Bradley James High Jump 2.11m (6-11) 6

Patrick Cochran Long Jump 7.54m (24-9) 3

Ethan Dennis Hammer Throw 66.36m (217-8) 4

Stephen Burk Javelin 68.10m (223-5) 4


• Eleven student-athlete who will compete in uniform for U-M this outdoor season are currently ranked on the program's all-time top-10 outdoor performance list in at least one event:

Name Event Rank Time/Mark (Year)

Mason Ferlic 3,000m steeplechase 6th 8:41.83 (2013)

5,000m 10th 13:55.12 (2014)

Herman Washington 110m hurdles 5th 13.82 (2013)

Bradley James High Jump 8th 7-0 1/2 (2011)

Patrick Cochran Long Jump 10th 24-9 (2014)

Cody Riffle Shot Put 1st 61-3 1/2 (2013)

Discus 5th 179-6 (2011)

Derek Sievers Shot Put 6th 59-4 1/4 (2014)

Discus 10th 171-7 (2014)

Justin Gaumer Shot Put 9th 57-0 1/4 (2014)

Ethan Dennis Hammer 1st 217-8 (2014)

Brad Bolton Hammer 3rd 201-0 (2014)

Stephen Burk Javelin 2nd 223-5 (2014)

Codie Nolan 4x100m Relay 3rd 40.25 (2013)


• Jerry Clayton is in his first year as Michigan's head coach, working primarily with U-M's field event athletes. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Clayton spent 15 seasons as an assistant head coach at Auburn. He has strong Big Ten ties, as he competed for Illinois and was two-time NCAA qualifier in the shot put, and returned to Illinois as an assistant coach from 1980-89. Clayton has produced several high-level national and international athletes, including 16 NCAA individual champions, 85 NCAA All-Americans, 39 international team competitors, 24 qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials and 33 participants in Olympic Games and World Championship competition.

• Assistant coach Steven Rajewsky is in his first year as a member of U-M's coaching staff, working primarily with U-M's sprinters and hurdles. Prior to coming to Michigan, Rajewsky spent six years as an assistant coach at Kent State.

• Assistant coach Alex Gibby is in his fourth season as U-M's distance coach. In his first three seasons, he guided nine student-athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, two to the NCAA Indoor Championships and three to NCAA Outdoor Championship appearances. As the Wolverines' cross country head coach, he led his 2013 squad to the NCAA Great Lakes Region title and a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Championships.


• Team Captains: Senior Herman Washington, as well as senior/juniors Mark Beams and Cody Riffle were named tri-captains for the 2014 season. Each captain was chosen by the team and coaches to represent the different event areas-- Beams (distance), Riffle (field) and Washington (sprints).

• Returning All-Americans: The Wolverines return four student-athletes who earned All-America honors during the 2013 outdoor season. Senior/junior Cody Riffle (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) placed ninth at the outdoor national championships, earning All-America second team recognition. Fifth-year senior Ethan Dennis (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grandville) finished 20th in the hammer throw at the national outdoor event, garnering All-America honorable mention accolades. In his first year competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior/sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) ran to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn All-America second team honors. Senior Ali Arastu (Northville, Mich./Northville), who is redshirting the 2014 season, finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming U-M's only First Team All-American of the year.

• In the Record Book: Ethan Dennis owns Michigan's indoor weight throw (21.20m, 69-6 3/4) and outdoor hammer throw (66.36m, 217-8) records, while Cody Riffle has set new school records in the indoor (19.25m, 63-2) and outdoor (18.80m, 61-8.25) shot put. Both indoor records were set at the 2013 dual meet against Michigan State.


For the fifth consecutive season, the NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top-48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the Preliminary Round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each Preliminary Championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season. This year's NCAA East Preliminary Round will be hosted by the University of North Florida from May 29-31, in Jacksonville, Fla.


Thu-Sat., May 29-31 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Jacksonville, Fla.), Noon/10 a.m./Noon

Wed-Sat., June 11-14 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.), 11:30 a.m./11 a.m./12:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. PDT

Contact: Whitney Dixon